I think it’s important that I go public with something that our longtime clients already know and, I think, respect us for: our unique schedule and approach to burnout avoidance.
Burnout is a huge problem in the hi-tech world, especially among web developers. Because, for many of us, web development is a hobby as well as a job; and because of the 24/7 nature of the internet we tend to spend far too much time at a computer, which can result in an overall loss of productivity and creativity once the inevitable burnout sets in. While myself and my staff are also somewhat guilty of this, I try to encourage a slightly more European approach to our schedule, with some unique twists.
As part of this outlook, I try to encourage time off for recharging– more than the typical 2 weeks/year that America has somehow erroneously (and arrogantly) adopted. At the core of this is my desire that myself and my team be the best at what we do. Not just average or good enough, but the best. In order to be the best, most creative and most efficient designers and developers, we need to be happy, rested, balanced and focused. Otherwise it would be far too easy to turn into that grumpy, no-life IT guy we’ve all heard of and/or dealt with. No one wants to deal with that guy. Apart from encouraging after-lunch siestas, the taking of “sanity days” off, beach and/or garden breaks and the occasional Tequila Friday at the office, I achieve this balance by taking sanity time– surfing, snowboarding, gardening, traveling, spending time with family, making wine and… well… once every 4 years dropping everything for the World Cup. I also encourage my staff to do the same. I am a HUGE national team soccer fan. Men’s and women’s national teams.
Yes, iluminada design is a great place to work. But only if you’re interested in being the best and doing what you have to do to be the best, both professionally and personally.
Today, 6/11/10 marks the start of 1 month of World Cup Soccer. Fortunately, most of the games occur early this year– before we open for business at 10:00am. But, for the record: don’t be surprised or upset if the phone lines go to voicemail during (1) every US match (there will probably be only 3 of them because we suck this year) and (2) every Brazil match (we have some close Brazilian friends and colleagues). There will probably be lots of Brazil matches– they’re awesome and are my bet to win it.
No need to worry– we won’t be abandoning our friends and clients for a month. We just might get started a bit later than usual on a few days.
Similarly, I believe it is absolutely necessary to observe certain holidays. MLK day is not an optional holiday. It’s the one mandatory holiday here, ahead of Christmas and New Year’s day (which we observe each year by closing for a week). I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about Columbus Day, but I do care about and observe Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. I also think everyone should always take their birthday off if possible. And Bob Marley’s birthday too, though no one knows exactly what day that is… so any day in early February will have to do. So please don’t be upset with us when you find us closed for holidays: we’re trying to introduce a measure of humanity to the hi-tech industry, and I hope you can respect that.